Mar 02, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences (MEES)

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JANET C. RUTLEDGE, UMBC Acting Graduate Program Director

Degrees Offered

M.S., Ph.D. (Degree Types )



BELAS, ROBERT (Marine Biotechnology), Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park; Microbial genetics.
BUSH, C. ALLEN, (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Environmental molecular biology, glycoprotein and polysaccharide structure determination using NMR and three-dimensional molecular dynamics.
CRONIN, THOMAS W. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Duke University; Vision science, visual ecology of marine animals.
LACOURSE, WILLIAM (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., Northeastern University; Analytical chemistry.
MILLER, ANDREW J. (Geography and Environmental Systems), Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Hydrology, geomorphology, water resources, environmental problems.
REED, BRIAN E. (Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering), Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; Sorption of organics/inorganics, surface chemistry, separation processes, water and wastewater treatment.
SOWERS, KEVIN (Marine Biotechnology), Ph.D., Virginia Tech; Anaerobic Microbiology, bioremediation, bioenergy.
VAKHARIA, VIKRAM (Marine Biotechnology), Ph.D., University of Kansas; Pathobiology, Biomolecular and Metabolic Engineering.
WELTY, CLAIRE (Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering), Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Groundwater flow and transport, water resource systems analysis, watershed hydrology.
ZOHAR, Yonathan (Marine Biotechnology), Ph.D., University of Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris; Fish reproductive endocrinology, aquaculture.

Associate Professors

ELLIS, ERLE (Geography and Environmental Systems), Ph.D., Cornell University; Bio-geochemistry, landscape ecology, managed ecosystems.
GHOSH, UPAL (Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering), Ph.D., University at Buffalo, 1998. Fate and transport of toxic organic compounds in the environment.
OMLAND, KEVIN (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., State University of New York, Albany; Avian evolution, evolution of plumage and coloration.
LEIPS, JEFFERY (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Florida State University; Evolution of life history traits, ecological genetics.
SCHREIER, HAROLD (Marine Biotechnology and Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; Microbial molecular genetics and physiology.
SPARLING, LYNN (Physics), Ph.D., University of Texas; Atmospheric physics, dynamics, modeling.
SWAN, CHRISTOPHER (Geography and Environmental Systems), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Stream ecology.

Assistant Professors

LEWIS, LAURA R. (Geography and Environmental Systems), Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Biogeography of crop species, particularly those of African origin.
SAITO, KEIKO (Marine Biotechnology), Ph.D., Osaka City University, Japan; Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Aquacultural Microbiology.

Program Description

The goal of the MEES program is to train students with career interests in some aspect of environmental science involving geosciences, ecosciences and cellular/molecular sciences. The program is university system-wide and interdisciplinary, allowing students to use facilities and interact with faculty of the entire university system to plan a program best suited to their particular interests. Students may take courses anywhere in the University System of Maryland and may organize advisory and examining committees with faculty from one or more institutions, including the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Although the program is system-wide, students enroll at one of the degree-granting campuses most appropriate to their research interests and professional goals. The MEES program leads to both the master’s and the doctoral degrees. The primary focus of both degrees is original research directed by a research advisor and overseen by a committee knowledgeable in the student’s area of specialization.

Program Specialties

Specialty areas depend on faculty expertise. Typical strengths at UMBC include environmental and molecular biology, marine biotechnology, aquatic ecology, landscape ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, geographic information systems, atmospheric science and environmental engineering.

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, applicants must include a statement (about one typewritten page) describing their interests in environmental sciences and reasons for pursuing a master’s or doctorate in MEES. The MEES program committee will use this information to select an academic advisor from the MEES faculty. An applicant meeting minimum requirements will be admitted to the MEES program only after an academic advisor has been identified. In most cases, the academic advisor also will become the student’s research advisor, but only if the arrangement is mutually agreeable. Before applying, prospective students should correspond directly with MEES faculty whose research interests are close to their own.

Usually faculty members will agree to serve as academic advisors only if their research interests are similar to those of their advisees. Applicants should identify in the application the potential advisor(s) with whom they have corresponded. All original application documents must be submitted directly to the Graduate School, not the graduate program.

Facilities and Special Resources

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science maintains several field stations on the Chesapeake Bay and in Western Maryland. UMBC has excellent electron microscope facilities and extensive animal care facilities, as well as a greenhouse. The Department of Marine Biotechnology is based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore’s inner harbor. Faculty and students have access to extensive research facilities, including an 18,000 square-foot, fully-contained, recirculating marine aquaculture facility, a versatile high-volume fermentation facility, and a wide assortment of advanced molecular and biotechnology instrumentation. The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), the Department of Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering and the field offices of the NSF-funded Baltimore Ecosystem Study and related USDA Forest Service personnel are co-located in the Technology Research Center (TRC) at UMBC. These entities jointly house a Spatial Analysis Laboratory and multiple wet laboratories for water quality, soil and sediment analysis. The Spatial Analysis Laboratory equipment includes high-end servers, storage devices, GIS workstations, one large-format plotter and one large format scanner all linked with a high- speed network. The Department of Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering at UMBC has 3000 sq. ft. of laboratory space equipped with fume hoods, analytical grade water, and chemical resistant countertops. Analytical capabilities include state of the art gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, and spectrophotometers for the measurement of toxic organic compounds and metals in water, soil, and tissue matrices. Students studying remote sensing have access to state of the art technologies in the Department of Physics laboratories.

UMBC is conveniently located with respect to a variety of terrestrial, freshwater and marine/estuarine habitats and is near a large number of private, state and national research institutions, including the offices of NSF, NOAA and NIH; the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; the USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratories; the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the EPA Mid- Atlantic Assessment Program. The MD-DE-DC District Office of the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division is based in UMBC’s Research Park on campus.

Financial Assistance

A number of research assistantships are available to highly qualified candidates.


    Marine, Estuarine & Environmental Science

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